My reaction to the news about the Astros move to the American League has been personally puzzling. I have been uneasy about the move, but it has taken me awhile to pinpoint the source of my displeasure. I considered seeking out professional assistance to work through my ambiguity; however, economic issues forced me to rely on the solitude of the graveyard shift Thursday night/Friday morning at my neighborhood Kroger to sort out my confusion.
Fortunately, the fluorescent lighting of Store 356 worked its magic and helped me sift through my issues, as you can read:
As a follower of the Astros of the Future, my first reaction to the news that the club is being manuevered to the American League was one of relative disinterest. I doubt that such a move will affect the club's drafting and player development strategies in any noticeable way. (I am currently doing some research into this aspect of the story, and will hopefully get back to you on it later.)
Oddly enough, as a lifelong Astros' fan, I don't feel any angst about the club moving to the American League either. I grew up with the Astros/Dodgers rivalry of the 80s and now enjoy Houston's showdowns with the Cardinals and Cubs. However, even as a fan of the Astros of the past, the move to a new league doesn't bother me. I am confident that if the team begins playing well again, we will find a new Jim Edmonds or Ron Cey to shake our fists at collectively.
As the morning sun approached, I thought my reflections on the topic would ultimately prove fruitless until the thought hit me, while I was adding some Kit Kat bars to the display rack near register 10. The primary reason that the move to the American League is striking a nerve with this fan is that a much more logical option for baseball's realignemnt is blatantly obvious. The fact that this option hasn't even been considered screams out the fact that once again, it's Allan Huber Selig's world and we, the Astros and their fans, are just living in it.
The sole unique benefit of an Astros' move to the AL West is that it would lead to more Rangers/Astros games. I think this would be great, but other than this upside, I see no benefits to such a move.
By contrast, consider the benefits of this option: Milwaukee to the AL Central, Kansas City to the AL West. (NOTE: As franchises Milwaukee's Brewers and Kansas City's Royals are both younger than Houston's Astros.)
Milwaukee spent 28 years in the American League, before it moved to the NL Central. A move to the AL Central would reunite them with old AL East rivals Detroit and Cleveland. Further, there is no love lost between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Those inter-state flames would be re-ignited if the Brewers and Twins were in the same division. As a final carrot, the Brewers would maintain a division foe from nearby Chicago as the White Sox would replace the Cubs.
Kansas City spent 25 years in the AL West before the Royals moved to the AL Central. They won AL West title six times between 1976-1985. A move back to the division would allow the Royals to get reacquainted with old rivals Texas, the Los Angeles Angels, and Seattle. Also, they would be back in a division with the Oakland Athletics, who lived in Kansas City from 1955-67.
I continued my shift with a spring in my step. Visions of George Brett facing Frank Tannana filled my head. Memories of a Brewers/Twins doubleheader I attended at County Stadium when I was in college refreshed my mind. I remembered the Astros 1997 NL Central Division Championship like it was yesterday.
Then as my shift wound to a close this morning the Houston Chronicle arrived. I am still convinced that the Astros moving to the American League is no where near the best option for baseball and for Houston; however, as I looked at Steve Campbell's article Astros Move to AL could be imminent, I became even more convinced that it is what will happen in Allan Huber's world.